THE first initial Route Survey for the proposed Coral Sea Cable System in Solomon Islands will be conducted between October 8 and December 4, 2018.
The survey will be carried out within the inshore waters of Honiara, Tulagi, Noro and Taro Township by a contractor, the Earth Sciences and Surveying, EGS, (Asia) Ltd.
The primary objective of the survey is to ascertain a suitable route to determine exact cable length, cable design, deployment and survivability of the cable network.
An offshore survey team comprising experts will conduct the route survey in a survey vessel, RV Northern Endeavour, and operations will be carried on 24-hour basis.
The survey will include offshore geophysical survey, seabed sampling and Mini Cone Penetration Test.
The offshore geophysical survey will be conducted in the waters and core samples and CPT survey would be taken every 10km and 4km respectively throughout.
There are two types of seabed sampling that will be employed in water depths of less than 1,000m, a conventional Shipek type grab sampler and a 3m gravity corer to scoop sediment.
A Mini Cone Penetration Test System (MCPT) will be deployed to acquire in-situ geotechnical data for determining the physical and mechanical properties of the sub-sea strata in water depths less than 1,000m.
However, coral, sea grass and environmentally sensitive areas will not subject to sampling.
Locations are selected in areas where sediment is present with reef habitats and areas of biological significance are avoided.
Daily Report will be distributed to all parties concerned and relevant authorities during the course of the survey.
EGS (Asia) Ltd has been appointed by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) as the Coral Sea Cable System’s survey contractor, responsible for undertaking the route survey.
Vocus Group and ASN have signed a contract to deploy the Coral Sea Cable System in Solomon Islands.
This new submarine cable will boost international connectivity and provide high speed telecommunications capacity to Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
This project is a key element of Australia’s development assistance programme to the Pacific and will connect Honiara and Port Moresby with Sydney via a state-of-the-art fibre optic cable system over 4,000 km in length.